THE measure of Australia's success against the coronavirus is that, up until recently, there must have been quite a few people who wondered what all the fuss was about.
From those dramatic days in March as the country began to shut down, we were warned that troubling times were ahead.
But through a combination of good government and Australians' willingness to follow the rules imposed upon them, the country avoided the worst of the health (not the economic) aspects of the virus crisis and has been rewarded with a quicker easing of restrictions than could have been foreseen.
Even with the terrible news from countries such as the UK and the US, many an Australian might have wondered whether the social measures here were a bit of an overreaction.
The growing cases of the virus in suburbs in Melbourne, however, are a reminder of what we managed to avoid - and of what we still might have to face if we aren't careful.
The AFL is sending its Melbourne teams north, possibly for the season, and residents from the southern capital city are being warned they are not welcome in NSW.
There can be no justification for smugness from other parts of Australia, however, as Victoria grapples with this outbreak.
For one thing, this is a problem that could be repeated anywhere in the country with just the right dose of bad luck.
More importantly, however, if this outbreak manages to hitch a ride out of Melbourne, it will quickly become a problem for all of us.
And then we'll know what the fuss was about.